Joanne Parker

Britannia Obscura
  • Britannia Obscura

  • Longlisted for the 2014 Thwaites Wainwright Prize

    Welcome to a large small island.

    The outline of the British Isles is instantly recognisable. But jostling within that familiar profile are countless vying maps of the country. Some of these maps are founded on rock, or on the natural features of the land. Far more are built on dreams – on human activity, effort, and aspiration.

    From investigations of caves and megaliths to canals and airspace, Joanne Parker reveals a country with countless competing centres and ceaselessly shifting borders – a land where one person’s sleepy, unexceptional province will always be the busy heart of another’s map.

    Britannia Obscura opens our eyes to the infinitely layered, rich and surprising landscape of Britain.

Joanne Parker is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter. She has always been interested in the British countryside, in British eccentricities, and in questions of identity. She has lived in York, Edinburgh, Cumbria, Quebec, and now lives on Dartmoor (next door to a pub allegedly built around a standing stone), with a morris dancer, two daughters and a flock of black sheep.

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